Friday, April 17 2009
Pioneerof the Nile, Chocolate Candy Jog; Busy Weekend of Derby Works Looms
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 17, 2009) – After spending the winter on synthetic surfaces in California, Zayat Stables Pioneerof the Nile and the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy got a feel for the traditional dirt track at Churchill Downs on Friday as they began their first full day at the home of the Kentucky Derby.
The Bob Baffert-trained Pioneerof the Nile, whose win in the Santa Anita Derby (GI) marked his fourth straight stakes victory, and Chocolate Candy, the Jerry Hollendorfer-trained runner-up in the Santa Anita Derby, both jogged over a “fast” surface after the mid-session break for track maintenance on Friday.
Kentucky Derby 135 Update (4.17.09)
KENTUCKY/SQUARE EDDIE RETURNS TO DERBY SCENE WITH RUN IN SATURDAY’S COOLMORE LEXINGTON
J. Paul Reddam’s Square Eddie, who started the year near the top of almost anyone’s list of contenders for the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), makes a late return to the road to Churchill Downs when he faces 10 rivals in Keeneland’s $300,000 Coolmore Lexington (GII).
The 1 1/16-mile race on the synthetic Polytrack surface will be the first start for Square Eddie since January. Twelve 3-year-olds were entered in the Coolmore Lexington, but Team Valor’s Barry Irwin was unhappy with the outside post draw by Hull and said that colt would scratch and run in next week’s Derby Trial (GIII) at Churchill Downs.
Kentucky Oaks 135 Update (4.17.09)
KENTUCKY/RACHEL ALEXANDRA SIZZLES IN CHURCHILL DOWNS WORK
L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra did nothing to diminish her status as the possible favorite for the 135th running of the Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) when what was planned as an easy work on Thursday at Churchill Downs became another sizzling display of her considerable talent.
The 3-year-old daughter of Medaglia d’Oro had regular jockey Calvin Borel in the saddle as she zipped five furlongs on a “fast” track in :59.40 – which tied as the fastest of 21 works at the distance. Borel was motionless in the irons as Rachel Alexandra covered the distance in fractions of :12.60, :24.40, :36 and :47.60. She galloped out six furlongs in 1:11.60 and seven-eighth of a mile s in 1:24.20.
CALIFORNIA STARS PIONEEROF THE NILE, CHOCOLATE CANDY ARRIVE FOR KENTUCKY DERBY 135
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 16, 2009) – Two more contenders for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I) joined the scene at Churchill Downs Thursday afternoon when the 1-2 finishers in the Santa Anita Derby (GI) – Pioneerof the Nile and Chocolate Candy – arrived at Churchill Downs
Zayat Stables, LLC’s Pioneerof the Nile and the Sid and Jenny Craig Trust’s Chocolate Candy arrived in Louisville following a flight from Southern California. The two horses made the short journey form Louisville International Airport to Churchill Downs in separate vans and arrived at the home of the Kentucky Derby at approximately 12:30 p.m. (EDT).
Likely Kentucky Oaks Favorite Rachel Alexandra Zips
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 16, 2009) – Trainer Hal Wiggins was looking for an easy work on Thursday for L & M Racing’s Rachel Alexandra, the likely favorite for the $500,000 Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) at Churchill Downs on May. But ‘easy’ is a relative term when it comes to describing the training activity of the star of Wiggins’ stable.
Rachel Alexandra zipped five furlongs in :59.40 over a “fast” track with jockey Calvin Borel in the irons. The move, which came just after the break for track maintenance, tied as the fastest of 21 at the distance.
Wednesday, April 15 2009
Return of Coolers to Infield Included In Hospitality, Security Policies for 135th Derby, Oaks
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 15, 2009) – For the first time since 2001, fans who enjoy Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks Days in the infield at historic Churchill Downs will be allowed to bring coolers into the track for the 2009 renewals of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands and the Kentucky Oaks.
Coolers will be allowed in the Churchill Downs infield only on Kentucky Oaks Day, May 1, and Kentucky Derby Day, May 2. Patrons may carry coolers into the track only through Gates 1 and 3, the traditional “infield gates,” and all coolers will be subject to search. Alcoholic beverages and glass containers of any kind will not be allowed in those coolers. Permitted contents include ice, non-alcoholic beverages in non-glass containers, and food packaged in clear plastic containers or bags. The maximum size of those clear containers and plastic bags remains at 18” x 18”.
Leparoux To Ride Toyota Blue Grass Winner General Quarters in Kentucky Derby 135
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 15, 2009) – Four-time Churchill Downs’ riding champion Julien Leparoux has been named to ride owner-trainer Tom McCarthy’s Toyota Blue Grass Stakes (Grade I) winner General Quarters in the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI) on May 2 at Churchill Downs.
McCarthy said Wednesday that the 25-year-old native of Senlis, France would ride his gray son of Sky Mesa in the Derby. McCarthy named Leparoux to the mount after he became frustrated by a lack of a commitment or communication from jockey Eibar Coa, who rode the colt in the Toyota Blue Grass. Coa is also the regular jockey aboard Kentucky Derby contender Musket Man, the winner of the Illinois Derby (GII).
SQUARE EDDIE RETURNS TO PREP FOR KENTUCKY DERBY IN COOLMORE LEXINGTON
Keeneland’s Grade II, $300,000 Coolmore Lexington at 1 1/16 miles on Polytrack offers the final major stop on the road to the 135th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, with a possible field of 11 hopefuls set to battle for the chance at a berth in the Run for the Roses on Saturday, May 2.
One horse that isn’t concerned with the money involved is SQUARE EDDIE, who has more than enough to make the gate. The concern of owner J. Paul Reddam and trainer Doug O’Neill is getting the colt fit enough to run in the Churchill Downs classic, the first jewel of Thoroughbred racing’s Triple Crown. The son of Smart Strike has been away from the races with shin problems since finishing second to The Pamplemousse Jan. 17 in Santa Anita’s Grade III San Rafael Stakes.
LEANN RIMES TO SING NATIONAL ANTHEM AT KENTUCKY DERBY 135
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (April 15, 2009) – Churchill Downs today announced that multiple-award winner and country music superstar LeAnn Rimes will help the historic racetrack launch a modern-day Kentucky Derby tradition when she performs the national anthem live as part of the ceremonies leading up to the 135th running of the Grade I Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands on Saturday, May 2, 2009. Rimes’ performance will be the first live vocal performance of the “Star Spangled Banner” by a national recording artist on Derby Day and will be televised by NBC Sports as part of its pre-race coverage, which begins at 4 p.m. EDT.
rkansas Derby Winner Papa Clem Arrives At Churchill Downs For Kentucky Derby 135
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 14, 2009) – Bo Hirsch’s homebred Papa Clem, winner of the $1 million Arkansas Derby (Grade II) on April 11 at Oaklawn Park, arrived at Churchill Downs late Tuesday afternoon to continue his preparation for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).
Papa Clem flew from Arkansas to Lexington, Ky., then traveled just over an hour by van to Churchill Downs. He arrived at the Louisville track at 5:30 p.m. (all times EDT) and took up residence in Barn 10A, which houses horses trained by Cody Autrey.
Wood Memorial Winner I Want Revenge Works Easy Four Furlongs at Churchill Downs
LOUISVILLE, KY. (April 14, 2009) – David Lanzman and IEAH Stables’ I Want Revenge, the possible favorite for the 135th running of the Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (Grade I), turned in his first serious training move since his arrival at Churchill Downs when he worked an easy half-mile over a muddy track on Tuesday.
Jockey Joe Talamo was in the saddle as the 3-year-old son of Stephen Got Even breezed after the mid-morning break for track maintenance and covered the distance in :50. Churchill Downs clockers caught the winner of the Wood Memorial (GI) and Gotham (GIII) in fractions of :12.40, :24.40 and :36.80. I Want Revenge galloped out five furlongs in 1:04.60 for trainer Jeff Mullins. The easy work ranked 18th out of 25 moves at the distance.
Monday, April 13 2009
KENTUCKY DERBY 135: GREAT SEATS DESERVE GREAT EATS
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Monday, April 13, 2009) – Horse racing fans who plan to attend this year’s Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks no longer have to stand in line to buy a hot dog or popcorn thanks to two new Churchill Downs offerings designed to enhance the experience of select customers.
For the first time, Churchill Downs will offer pre-ordered meals for all attendees and a new hospitality lounge for second and third floor ticket holders on Friday, May 1 for the $500,000-added Kentucky Oaks (Grade I) and Saturday, May 2 for the $2 million guaranteed Kentucky Derby Presented by Yum! Brands (GI).